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Keyword: astronomy

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  • InSight Records Sound of Wind on Mars

    12/10/2018 9:43:16 AM PST · by ETL · 2 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Dec 10, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    On December 1, 2018, NASA’s InSight lander captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the Martian wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 mph (5-7 m/sec) from northwest to southeast. The wind was consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit. “Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves,” said InSight principal investigator Dr. Bruce Banerdt, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.The vibrations...
  • NASA’s InSight beams back breathtakingly clear photo of Mars

    11/27/2018 8:13:31 AM PST · by heterosupremacist · 98 replies
    https://nypost.com ^ | 11/27/2018 | Ben Feureherd
    NASA’s spacecraft that landed on Mars on Monday has beamed back its first clear photo of the desolate Red Planet. “There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home,” NASA tweeted late Monday, hours after its new InSight lander touched down. The image came after the rover had earlier sent back a somewhat blurry photo. The space agency said that in the interim, the spacecraft had opened its solar panels, which allowed it to recharge its batteries for the mission.
  • 'Mars Is Hard': Tension Rises for NASA's InSight Landing on Red Planet

    11/25/2018 5:44:07 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 25, 2018 03:24pm ET | Mike Wall,
    NASA's InSight Mars lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 26), and mission team members and agency officials are understandably nervous about the make-or-break moment. … The difficulty for landed missions stems chiefly from the fact that Mars features both a relatively strong gravitational pull and a wispy atmosphere, which is just 1 percent as thick as that of Earth, said Tom Hoffman, InSight project manager at JPL. So, approaching spacecraft get accelerated to high speeds and then have a hard time dissipating enough energy to slow down before landing, he explained during today's...
  • Here's How to Watch the Insight Landing on Mars on Monday

    11/25/2018 8:24:07 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    Live Science ^ | November 25, 2018 08:25am ET | Yasemin Saplakoglu,
    The InSight (or "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport") lander will push through Mars' thin atmosphere using small rockets, deploy parachutes to slow its fall to the surface, and then use retro rockets to finally stick the landing. It will take about 6 minutes from the time the lander reaches the Martian atmosphere until it touches down on the surface of the Red Planet. (Of course, this is if everything goes according to plan: For example, the lander may face dust storms in the northern hemisphere where it's aiming to land. According to NASA, these autumn Martian...
  • For NASA's InSight Mars Lander, All Systems Are Go for Monday Touchdown

    11/22/2018 6:58:21 PM PST · by aquila48 · 74 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 21, 2018 | Meghan Bartels
    All systems are go for landing on Mars on Nov. 26, NASA personnel affiliated with the InSight mission confirmed during a pair of news conferences held today (Nov. 21). As of that news conference, the spacecraft had traveled about 295 million miles (475 million kilometers) of the 301 million miles (484 million km) that will make up its total journey. But one of the most serious hurdles remains, the entry, descent and landing process, which will begin at about 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Monday (Nov. 26). "My heart is beating inside of my chest like a drum," NASA...
  • NASA’s Insight Lander Spreads Its Solar Wings. It’ll Fly To Mars In May, 2018

    01/26/2018 8:47:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    May 2018 is the launch window for NASA’s next mission to Mars, the InSight Lander. InSight is the next member of what could be called a fleet of human vehicles destined for Mars. But rather than working on the question of Martian habitability or suitability for life, InSight will try to understand the deeper structure of Mars. InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. InSight will be the first robotic explorer to visit Mars and study the red planet’s deep interior. The work InSight does should answer questions about the formation of Mars, and those...
  • Brightest comet of 2018 to pass the closest to Earth in Decembe

    12/09/2018 2:54:09 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    nbc ^ | Dec. 9, 2018 / 12:07 PM ‎PST | Angel Torres
    The comet 46P/Wirtanen, which passes Earth every 5.4 years, was one of three comets discovered by Carl Wirtanen in 1948 at the Lick Observatory in California. This orbit will be one of the closest comet orbits to Earth since the 1950s, according to Space.com. The comet 46P will likely not have a large observable tail because of its relatively small size, according to Space.com. It measures 0.68 miles in diameter, one-tenth the size of the popular Halley's Comet. Currently, 46P is a small blueish object in the night sky. The comet will be passing in the Southern sky, near the...
  • After botched launch, orbiting atomic clocks confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity

    12/07/2018 12:39:21 PM PST · by ETL · 37 replies
    ScienceMag.org ^ | Dec 7, 2018 | Adrian Cho
    Making lemonade from lemons, two teams of physicists have used data from misguided satellites to put Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, to an unexpected test. The opportunistic experiment confirms to unprecedented precision a key prediction of the theory—that time ticks slower near a massive body like Earth than it does farther away. As Einstein explained, gravity arises because massive bodies warp space-time. Free-falling objects follow the straightest possible paths in that curved space-time, which to us appear as the parabolic arc of a thrown ball or the circular or elliptical orbit of a satellite. As...
  • "The First Sunspots of the Next Solar Cycle"

    04/15/2018 11:04:45 AM PDT · by Voption · 39 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | April 15, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    In linking to my sunspot update this week, there has been a lot of speculation at the climate website WattsUpWithThat that the next solar cycle has begun...which suggested that this sunspot was the first such sunspot this cycle, was not quite accurate however. This sunspot with an opposite polarity, which decayed so quickly that it did not rate getting a sunspot number, was not the first... The grand minimum of the 1600s, dubbed the Maunder Minimum in honor of the scientist who first identified it, was a century where almost no sunspots were visible. There was no apparent solar cycle....
  • Icesat2

    09/15/2018 1:42:49 PM PDT · by JoeFromSidney · 9 replies
    Original<p> | JoeFromSidney
    I’m at Vandenberg Air Force Base. My wife and I came to see the launch of Icesat2, a satellite intended to measure the thickness of the polar ice caps. Our son Tony designed the laser altimeters on Icesat, which measure the height above the geoid of the ice, of forests, and other objects. The launch vehicle was a Delta rocket. The Delta was derived from the Air Force’s old Thor missile. This was the last launch of a Delta. It’s now obsolete and being retired. For me, it closed out some personal history. Back in the late ‘fifties, I was...
  • The Dog Days of August

    08/12/2018 6:18:34 AM PDT · by NOBO2012 · 3 replies
    MOTUS A.D. ^ | 8-12-18 | MOTUS
    It’s August, and that means we will have  ☆*¨`*☆StArrY, StArrY NiGhƮs☆*¨`*☆So grab your dog and your camera…and head out to capture some magnificent images under the night sky. The Perseids Meteor shower is at its peak tonight.Photo by Andrew RhodesEnjoy it while you can.Posted from: MOTUS A.D.
  • NASA now has an official plan for taking out asteroids

    06/23/2018 1:13:15 PM PDT · by TBP · 36 replies
    Glenn Beck website ^ | June 22, 2018 | Glenn Beck
    The next time asteroids menace the earth, we'll be ready. Because NASA has created a plan. But before you get too excited, unfortunately, NASA's just-released plan does not include a Bruce Willis-led crew of roughnecks landing on an asteroid and blowing it to smithereens with a nuke. Which begs the question, if that's not part of the plan, what's a potential "Space Force" actually for? Yesterday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report titled, the "National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan." Okay, see, this is the problem with government bloat. That title is...
  • Mysterious 'Planet Nine' gets more evidence from weird space rock

    05/21/2018 2:30:59 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    Fox News ^ | May 21, 2018 | Elizabeth Howell, Space.com
    The solar system just got a bit stranger. As astronomers continue their ongoing quest to find the elusive Planet Nine, a team found a space rock that lends credence to the idea that a huge super-Earth planet really exists in the outer reaches of our solar system. The newfound asteroid, called 2015 BP519, adds to a growing body of evidence about little worlds in the solar system being perturbed by something big. Astronomers detailed its discovery and description in a new paper, adding that its bizarre angle of its orbit gives more weight to the idea that a big planet...
  • "Earth's Magnetic Field not flipping tonight, perhaps.." John Batchelor Show

    05/02/2018 6:45:59 AM PDT · by Voption · 4 replies
    The John Batchelor Show WABC- NY ^ | May 2, 2018 | John Batchelor/Robert Zimmerman
    Blue Origin test flight, China's space-program, SLS, earth's magnetic field flipping?
  • What if the Moon was split in half?

    If you simply flew up into space and sawed the moon in half with a giant hacksaw, most likely, nothing would happen. This is because gravitational force would hold the two halves together, sort of like a couple of magnets. But what if you were able to get a couple of giant crowbars and put a person on the other side and then count to 3 and totally separate the two halves of the moon? With enough strength applied, you could theoretically push the two halves far enough apart where the gravitational force no longer pulls them together and now...
  • SpaceX Does it Again; Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)launched

    04/18/2018 5:37:08 PM PDT · by Voption · 3 replies
    SpaceX ^ | April 18, 2018, 6:51 p.m. EDT | Elon Musk
    "SpaceX launched NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch occurred at 6:51 p.m. EDT, or 22:51 UTC. TESS was deployed into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 49 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Astronomers find far-flung wind from a black hole in the universe’s first light

    12/05/2018 7:07:24 AM PST · by ETL · 22 replies
    ScienceNews.com ^ | Dec 5, 2018 | Lisa Grossman
    Astronomer Mark Lacy and colleagues used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile to observe the universe’s first light, and found evidence of gusts flowing from a type of black hole called a quasar. The wind extends about 228,000 light-years away from the galaxy that surrounds the quasar. Previously, astronomers had seen signs of these winds only about 3,000 light-years from their galaxies.The result, published November 12 at arXiv.org, could help resolve questions about how black holes can grow with their galaxies, or shut galaxies down for good.Black holes are best known for gravitationally gobbling everything that veers too close....
  • Has Russia just put a secret weapon in orbit? New launch prompts security concerns

    12/04/2018 1:59:28 PM PST · by Innovative · 17 replies
    Daily Mail, UK ^ | Dec. 4, 2018 | Phoebe Weston For Mailonline
    The US military has raised concerns about the mysterious Russian launch They found five orbital bodies leaving the rocket instead of four, as suggested Either rocket's upper stage broke, or Russia had kept part of the launch secret The US military has raised concerns about the mysterious Russian launch after they found five orbital bodies leaving the rocket instead of four, as previously suggested. The US Combined Space Operations Centre (CSpOC) believe that either the rocket's upper stage broke in two, or the Russians had kept part of the launch secret.
  • Watch NASA's OSIRIS-REx Rendezvous With an Asteroid: The spacecraft arrives at the tiniest [tr]

    12/03/2018 9:20:54 AM PST · by C19fan · 11 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | December 3, 2018 | Avery Thompson
    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched in 2016, but today it will begin to orbit its destination: the asteroid Bennu. When it does, Benniu will break the record for the smallest object ever orbited by a manmade spacecraft. NASA will begin a process of learning more about the small asteroids that reside in our part of the solar system. You can watch the livestream of the arrival here:
  • How do stellar binaries form?

    12/03/2018 9:26:27 AM PST · by ETL · 13 replies
    Phys.org ^ | Dec 3, 2018 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    Most stars with the mass of the sun or larger have one or more companion stars, but when and how these multiple stars form is one of the controversial central problems of astronomy. Gravity contracts the natal gas and dust in an interstellar cloud until clumps develop that are dense enough to coalesce into stars, but how are multiple stars fashioned? Because the shrinking cloud has a slight spin, a disk (possibly a preplanetary system) eventually forms. In one model of binary star formation, this disk fragments due to gravitational instabilities, producing a second star. The other model argues that...